11. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

little_girl_who_lives_down_the_lane1976 was a big year for Jodie Foster: she starred in Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, and this film that rarely gets talked about for some reason. Apparently she doesn’t think very highly of it, which I find surprising. This movie really made an impression on me when I watched it for the first time a good ten or eleven years ago. I wish the video store down the street had advertised when they purged their “archives” section (the VHS collection of movies that were rarely rented, but that I rented ALL THE TIME) because I’m sure the copy I watched back then was just tossed out. Oh well.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

Plot summary: Jodie Foster is a 13-year-old girl (we think – she gives different ages to different people) who, after the death of her father, is living on her own. In order to protect her freedom, she has to act as though her father is still alive, which is difficult because she lives in the nosiest town on the planet. She has a bitchy, xenophobic, anti-semitic landlady who rules the town.

Unfortunately, her nasty landlady gets a little too nosy and accidentally dies on the premises (she really shouldn’t have gone down into the cellar), and so a local boy who walks with a limp and is an amateur magician helps her cover it up. They fall in love because they are both a little odd. Also, Martin Sheen is the landlady’s pedophile son who is constantly terrorizing her, and in the end he figures out the ruse and intends to blackmail her into letting him get “close” to her, but luckily Jodie Foster is a badass and poisons his tea. The end.

Mario, her magician boyfriend

Mario, her magician boyfriend

Martin Sheen is so scary in this movie – I think when I was a kid this was the first time that it occurred to me that pedophiles were not all scary-looking dudes with white vans, and that they could conceivably get to  me in my own home. Nightmares for a couple of days, I can assure you

Check out Martin Sheen killing a hamster by extinguishing his cigarette in his eyes:

Charlie Sheen killing Gordon the hamster.  Not cool

Martin Sheen killing Gordon the hamster. Not cool

Scariness of villain: 9/10

Jodie Foster’s performance: 7/10

Jodie Foster not liking this movie: 4/10

Anne rating: ~6.7

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~ by Anne Harding on October 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “11. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)”

  1. Out of all the movies I’ve seen randomly on tv, this is probably my favorite.

  2. the producer wanted nudity and blood. jodie said he was mad. and cried and ran off the set. so connie is undressing and sheen is burning a hamster. making films is weird. a lesson for young jodie i think and so she doesn´t like it. don´t forget she´s just acting precocious in all this 70s films, fulfilling some male fantasies, though in real life she is a child.

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